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Senior Citizen Softball Team Is Homeless Without Insurance

TIMES STAFF WRITER

The Golden Oldies, a newly formed Simi Valley softball team for senior citizens, is finding out that it takes more than just players, uniforms and enthusiasm to play ball.

It also takes liability insurance.

Because the Gold Coast Senior Softball League does not carry insurance, the Simi Valley team will be forced to play all its games on the road this year, league and team officials said. That means the Oldies and their fans will have to travel to Ventura, Oxnard, Thousand Oaks and Agoura Hills for all 10 of the team’s games this winter season.

“I don’t like it, and my team members don’t like it,” said Ken Walker, player and manager of the Oldies.

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The Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District will not allow the team to use its facilities for fear the district will be open to lawsuits by injured players, park spokesman Rick Johnson said.

“This is not our program or our league. Therefore, they are not covered by our insurance,” he said.

The Golden Oldies had hoped to play their season opener Saturday against the Rusty Pelicans of Ventura at Rancho Madera Community Park in Simi Valley, Walker said. The game will now take place at West Park in Ventura.

Walker said that other teams in the league don’t have any problems finding places to play and that he feels the Park District is overreacting.

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“I think we’re all old enough not to be sue-happy,” he said, noting that all 21 players on his team are over the age of 55. “We’re responsible adults. I don’t believe there would be a liability problem.”

Alex Flores, an Oxnard recreation official who serves as commissioner of the 4-year-old senior softball league, said the league is considering charging a registration fee to help buy team insurance. He said he hopes that the fee will be in place when the spring softball season begins in March.


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